Baby Sign Language


istoc.com / stephanie phillips

The day you were born, and for months after, the only way for you to communicate with us was to cry.  You developed different cries for different reasons, to be sure, like a low moaning cry when you were tired and about to fall asleep, or a high pitched cry of desperation when your tummy was empty and you needed to eat. 

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It took me a while to figure them out, and it was never a perfect system, but we got by as best as we could. And when I didn't know what you needed, I tried everything to make the crying stop.

At a few months old, though, we worked on something together that was almost magical to me, and made me so proud. I taught you the sign for "more", so that when you were eating and wanted another bite, or when you wanted more in your bottle, but you weren't yet able to talk, you could show me the sign and I could give you what you needed.

With my fingers and thumbs together in each hand, I tapped the tips together, each time I gave you another bite. "Do you want more?" I'd say, while doing the sign at the same time. Finally, the connection as made in your brain that for another bite, you could do the sign to let me know. Again, it wasn't perfect, especially as you learned that and other signs. It was rudimentary at first, but you got the hang of it and you used it to communicate with me.

I was so happy that you could "talk" to me in this way, long before you could speak the words. You were a smart little cookie, and every once in a while, "more" would get you another cookie, too.

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